The symptoms of pregnancy can be easy to overlook.

Every mother has a story about when and how she found out she was pregnant. Some women knew immediately while others were very surprised by a positive pregnancy test.
When you conceive, your body undergoes a rapid change in hormone levels and this produces both subtle and drastic changes to your body. While there are many early symptoms of pregnancy, they can greatly differ from woman to woman and even from pregnancy to pregnancy. And because they often resemble what happens right before and during menstruation, you may not even recognize them. There are also many other health issues that can cause pregnancy-like symptoms.

So, are you pregnant or not? Compare your notes with the following – these are some of the most common early symptoms of pregnancy.

Spotting and Cramping: Soon after conception, the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall. Because of this, within 6 to 12 days you may experience spotting and cramping. The cramps are similar to menstrual cramps and when coupled with the bleeding, many women think they are just starting their period. These symptoms could also be caused by the actual start of menstruation, altered menstruation due to stress or exercise, using a different birth control pill, infection, or abrasion.

Fatigue Extreme: unexplainable fatigue can begin just one week after you conceive. Mainly caused by higher levels of progesterone in your body, it can also be due to lower levels of blood sugar, lower blood pressure, and increased blood production from pregnancy. You might also feel tired because of stress, physical exhaustion, depression, a cold or flu, or other illnesses. If your fatigue is one of the many symptoms of pregnancy, make sure you get plenty of rest and skip the extra caffeine.

Breast Changes
: A week or so after conception, your breasts may be swollen, sore and feel heavier, fuller, or tender to the touch. Your nipples may also look larger and darker. After a few weeks, your body will adjust to the new hormone levels and your breasts will feel better – just bigger. The best remedy is to get a better, larger bra. Other factors that could cause changes in your breasts are hormonal imbalance, changing birth control pills, or PMS.

Nausea (Morning Sickness): Higher estrogen levels can slow the emptying of your stomach and this causes nausea, or morning sickness. The ‘sickness’ can happen any time – not just in the morning. It is usually worse during the first trimester but remember it is a good sign of a healthy, growing pregnancy. Some women have sensitivity to smell, aversions to certain foods or food cravings. These are related to rising levels of the beta-HCG hormone. All of these symptoms could be caused by a stomach flu, change in diet, stress, depression, or PMS.

Missed Period:The most obvious early symptom of pregnancy is a missed period and this is when most women take a home pregnancy test. You can miss your period for many reasons – weight gain or loss, hormonal problems, fatigue, stress, or tension. Some women miss their period when they stop taking or change their birth control pills.

Other Early Symptoms of Pregnancy

· Frequent urination can start around 6 or 8 weeks after conception.
· The increase of hormones could make you constipated. Drink plenty of water, exercise, and eat high-fiber foods to help.
· Mood swings are typical, especially during the first trimester.
· Mild headaches and back pain are common.
· Dizziness and fainting can also be early symptoms of pregnancy.
Do any of these sound familiar? Have you taken a home pregnancy test? If you are experiencing one, two or several of these symptoms of pregnancy, give Dr. Hessel a call. If you are pregnant, the earlier you know the earlier you can begin receiving prenatal care. If there is something else causing your symptoms, Dr. Hessel will help get you on the road to recovery. Ready to start thinking about getting pregnant? Dr. Hessel and her staff are happy to help you make the important lifestyle changes to prepare your body for the amazing journey to, through and beyond pregnancy.